Wichita Heights senior, national record holder gears up for final state meet

Grant Pierce also has the nation's second fastest wheelchair time at the 1,600-meter distance.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 7:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Grant Pierce, a star athlete representing Wichita Heights High School, is preparing for his final state track meet, a week removed form breaking a national record.

Last week, Pierce set the national wheelchair record in the 3,200 meter race. He also has the second fastest time nationally in the 1,600. This past weekend, Pierce broke the national record, powering his way around the track eight times in a time of 8:28.69. He said he beat the previous record by about five seconds.

“At the start of the season, I knew I wanted to do something special, maybe a state record or something like that,” he said. “And then, just coming toward the end of the season, I just kept getting faster and faster, and that’s when it sort of clicked with me.”

He said hearing that his 3,200 meter time is a national record “was pretty exciting.”

HIs 1,600-meter time is 3:53.83. Pierce’s coach, Brandon McMillen says Pierce has cut more than a minute of time off the 1,600 over his high school career.

“His very first mile he ever did was 4:59, I think,” McMillen said. “I was so shocked by even the sub-five. I thought, ‘man, this guy can go far.’”

While proud of his record, Pierce has his eyes set on this weekend’s state track meet. He said he hopes his performance proves to other that you shouldn’t let anything stop you from doing what you live.

“Whether you’re disabled or not, just make something of yourself and you won’t regret it,” Pierce said.

McMillen said he hopes to see Pierce participate in the 2024 Paralympic Games, set to take place in Paris next summer.